Latest News

This is where you will find up to the minute details of what's going on with the Loch and the Association. Of course the page doesn't write itself so if it is to stay current, we need your news items and pictures. Mail them to us here for inclusion on the page.

May/June - 2021

Alec's good fortune was to serve him well in the June Member's Competition winning both the Leslie Sutherland trophy for the heaviest basket of 3 fish for 3lb 2ozs and the Alister Foggo trophy for the heaviest fish at 1lb 8ozs. Alec (above) received both trophies having been awarded Interim Chairman Richard Norburn.
Pictured at right are some of the members who attended the competition. A total of 10 members took part and a total of 9 fish for 8lb 9oz which was good going given the conditions of the day.


June - 2019

Members Competition 2019

The Annual St Johns Members Competition was held on Saturday 8th June. We were spared the gales and rain of the previous week and despite the bright conditions and the chilly North Easterly breeze, there was an air of optimism amongst the 15 anglers as they set out. This very quickly turned to despondency as boat after boat was seen to slip into the harbours, the optimism vanishing as their occupants headed off for the proverbial 'early bath'. The diehards remained and some were rewarded with a fish or two. At the weigh in, victory went to Ronald Mackenzie with a winning basket of two trout weighing in at 3lb 2oz. He also took the prize for heaviest fish at 1lb 10oz. three other anglers weighed in fish, the remainder blanked although most spoke of returning fish in the 10" size range. I recall my very first Member's Competition which was in 1989. On that occasion the wind was easterly with bright sunshine prompting Mr. George Dunbar to remark; "aye laddie, bright sunshine and an East wind - the very best conditions for no' catching fish!' That year, Mr. Donald Cameron swept the boards that year winning the heaviest basket with two fish making a total weight of 15oz with his heaviest fish tipping the scales at 8oz. In those days the size limit was 10" rather than the 12" of today, but thinking of the number of small fish I returned on Saturday, I'm sure I could have given Donald a run for his money!
Prospects for some better results in the next fortnight are very likely as the Mayfly hatch is sure to be full swing. There was a steady trickle of Mayfly on Competition Day but not enough for the fish to be 'locked on' and the stomach contents of Ronald's fish showed only a few Mayfly the remainder being made up of Sticklebacks and small trout fry.

Formal presentation, by Chairman Ian S Moffat, of the winners trophies for the 2019 Member's Competition
to Ronald MacKenzie



April - 2019

On 10th April Ronald MacKenzie opened his score card with this lump of a fish - 3lb 2oz

On 21st April it was son Calum's turn with two fish - 2lb 15oz and 1lb 4oz

June - 2017

Member'sCompetition winner Donnie Macleanwith a best basket of 4 fish for 3lb 12oz and heaviest fish at 1lb 4oz

Ronnie Elder with his 5lb 3oz fish taken on 1st June.

It was Donnie Maclean from Castletown this time, Saturday 3rd June 4lb 12oz on a Mayfly

Mike Russell had this 2lb 14oz bar of gold on a Olive Bumble on Sunday 4th June

Mr PeterMalcolm at the age of 77 with his first ever trout,4lb 7oz on the dap


April - 2017

First reported fish for the year goes to Christine Davidson and what a cracker it turned out to be. A fully finned, perfectly proportioned beauty weighing in at 3lb 13oz on that old favourite, a Loch Ordie. You couldn't ask for a better start to the season. Here's hoping the remainder of the season is as fruitful.

July - 2016

Callum Mackenzie scored again on the first of the month with this beauty that tipped the scales at 3lb.


June - 2016

The Annual Members Competition was held on Saturday 11th June with the winning trophies for Best Fish and Best Basket both going to Pat Nicol. Pat finished the day with 4 fish for a total weight of 7lb 8oz with the heaviest fish weighing in at 3lb 4oz. As can be seen from the picture at left, it looks a fine basket indeed. Other notable catches for the month fell to Adam Prichard, at right, (1lb 7oz) on the17th and Calum MacKenzie, below,(1lb 9oz)on the 25th.


Adam Prichard

Callum MacKenzie



April - 2016

Ronald MacKenzie opened his book in style on the 14th of the month taking three fish for his visit. The smallest was just a whisker under the pound while the other two tipped the scales at 2lbs 4oz and 2lb 14oz making a fine basket.
April and September are traditionally the months when the loch gives up it's bigger specimens for those prepared to suffer the Baltic conditions and if this is anything to go by, it is running true to form.

November - 2015


Things looked bleak at the Fish Trap during October with the lack of rainfall preventing any fish from reaching the trap but during November conditions improved (or didn't according to your viewpoint) and the rainfall encouraged fish to run. In the space of just two days, sufficient eggs were obtained to keep the hatchery team busy over the coming months. Some large fish were encountered in the trap. There were at least a dozen in the 5lb to 6lb range with a number of others in excess of 6lb. It's encouraging to see so many quality fish given the short space of time spent egg collecting. Who knows how many other leviathans have run the burn since?
Thanks go to Les Jones, Alex Smith and Iain Kerr for their valuable work in obtaining the stock and to the whole Hatchery Team for their efforts over the past year.


October - 2015

Season over and time to turn the boats

The usual suspects made short work of the task - Photos by Ken MacLeod DFFA

September - 2015

The Fish Trap in situ in the Muckle Ditch ready for the 2015 Spawning Run

A team led by Iain Kerr and the 'beaming' Les Jones (above) set up the fish trap in The Muckle Ditch

Tommy Davidson shows off his 5lb 12oz Trout

Tommy's trout taken on 19th September fell to a Size 14 Loch Ordie

Alex Smith supervising operations
Pictured here are some scenes of the first trout fingerlings from the 2014 spawning upon release. Around one thousand fish to 3"were introduced to various points around the loch. A further number will be released later in the year with the remainder being kept and grown on until they reach around 8" in length. These fish will be introduced during the Spring of 2016.

Juvenille Trout becoming accustomed to their new surroundings

Some of the 3" fingerlings at release

June - 2015

Ian Kerr with his 5lb 13oz specimen taken on Saturday 20th June

May - 2015

The weather has improved a little in recent days although it has still been quite chilly for the best part and we've been beset with SE winds and generally cloudless skies. Not really the best conditions for fishing. However, Ronald MacKenzie ventured out on the loch on 5th May and his persistence was rewarded with a handsome fish of 3lbs 13oz. The succesful fly was the Hulk.


April - 2015

Our season opened on 1st April and although the weather was relatively mild by Caithness standards, it was still quite chilly and generally very bright. A few brave souls ventured out but it was not until the end of the month that I received any angling reports. Jim Learmonth of DFFA had a fish of 5lbs on the 19th (pictured below) a definite contender for the new Hamish Holmes Trophy to be awarded for the heaviest member caught fish of the season. Pat Nicol spent a couple of days on the loch towards the end of the month and was amply rewarded for his efforts. Prospects for the remainder of the month are not great since we have returned to Baltic conditions. I hope they do not last long so that we can get back to some serious angling soon.

Pat Nicol's Fish - 3lb and 2lb 13oz

Jim Learmonth's 5lb fish

Pat Nicol's fish of 3lb 12oz


July - 2014

Les Jones with his 3lb 6oz trout taken on a dapped Goddard Poly May Dun on 21st July under tough conditions. The loch is heavily weeded, as are most of the Caithness Lochs this season, making it difficult to find a clear place to fish.

June - 2014

Members Competition 2014 - Jimmy Maclean presented with the winner's trophies by previous year's winner Pat Nicol

Jimmy Maclean took best basket and heaviest fish with one fish at 1lb 10oz. Last year's winner Pat Nicol took the only other fish caught which weighed in at 1lb exactly.

Pat Nicol took these four on 10th June - 2lbs 4oz.  2lbs 2oz.  1lbs 12oz.  1lbs 4oz.  Total 7lbs 6oz.

Mervyn Johns took this 4lb fish on a Loch Ordie on 13th June

Donnie Maclean took this fish on 6th June - 1lb 12 oz

Mrs C Davidson took this fish on 7th June - 3lb exactly

May - 2014

Pat Nicol and grandson Kevin Manson too these three on 27th May - 2lbs 6oz. 2lbs 7oz. 2lbs 8oz

Donnie Maclean got this one on Tuesday 13th May, it tipped the scales at a cracking 1lb 11oz

Raymond Millard with his basket of three fish on 21st May - 2lb 1oz, 1lb 14oz, 1lb 7oz

April - 2014

First fish of the loch this season came to the rod of Kevin Manson who was out on the afternoon of Saturday 4th April. Kevin had both these fish within minutes of each other in the late afternoon. The trout, weighing 2lb 12oz and 2lb, were in fine condition and obviously fed well over the winter months as can be seen in the accompanying photograph. Kevin reported that there was a fair amount of weed in the loch from last year's growth, no doubt a result of the mild winter weather.
Ronald MacKenze had his first trip out on the loch on 25th April and came away with a fine fat fish of 1lb 11oz taken on the Orkney favourite, the Merkister Maid.